UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Student Spotlight: Areej Al Medinah

Meet Areej Al Medinah, Prosperity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc student (2020-21) and recipient of the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship.

Headshot of Areej Al Medinah

Spotlight created during Areej's time as a current student at the IGP

Why did you choose to study at the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) and what were you doing before you joined us?

I graduated as an Electrical Engineer from Habib University, Pakistan in July 2020. I also co-founded two start-ups during my undergrad: ConnectHear which promoted deaf inclusion and Shape of Water, which worked towards better water management in Karachi. As an impact-driven engineer interested in technology entrepreneurship, I chose to study at the Institute for Global Prosperity for its holistic approach towards innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity.

Can you tell us about your experience around the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme and how it has helped you?

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship enabled me to study at UCL while living an adequate life in London. The scholarship network also helped me connect to various current scholars and alumni in the UK. With a common goal to drive impact in our home countries, the network allows us to collaborate and work on a larger scale together.

What do you enjoy most about studying with the IGP?

There are two elements of IGP I have enjoyed the most: the dialogues within the community and the hybrid nature of theory and practice. Our classes, seminars and events encourage us to explore other domains and connect them to our work. Professors, students and external professionals interact to share their work and the ideas behind them. This encourages the community to interact with each other and form a well-connected network, despite the social hurdles of the pandemic. Being a research-focused program, we have developed a theoretical understanding in the first half of the program. In the next part of the program, we work on projects to implement the theory in practice. The hybridity of the program creates a balance between theory and practice.

Do you have any topics or areas that you find particularly interesting?

Currently, I am interested in driving clean energy transition in developing countries through entrepreneurial models. The concept of community ownership of an enterprise is particularly interesting to me since it develops wealth and value for the community.

What does prosperity mean to you?

In simple concepts, prosperity means the quality of well-being to me which should be present at an individual, as well as on a collective level.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Initially, I planned to launch my own startup after graduation. However, during the program at IGP and with the help of Career Services, I realized that I have other options as well. Currently, I am considering a career in technology consulting or international development.

What advice would you give to new IGP students and to those thinking of applying?

I would recommend them to connect with current students and get to know more about their experience and the structure of the degree. This would help them see if the program is a good fit for them. I would also encourage them to develop a roadmap of what they hope to achieve in the next few years, and see if the programs at IGP would provide them with the right skills and knowledge for their roadmap.